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How The Non-Trump Republicans Can Make The Second Debate Actually Matter

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Every candidate who plans on attending the second Republican primary debate this week can do themselves and us voters a world of good by accepting two things: Donald Trump is almost certain to be the nominee, and until then, time and energy are best spent emphasizing just how absurdly, dangerously wrong everything is going under Democrat rule.

That doesn’t mean sucking up to the former president with the nauseating goody-goody act that Vivek Ramaswamy hams up every time he sees a TV camera. But the reality is that to the extent there remains any threat to Trump’s reelection campaign, it’s not anyone else running for the nomination. Since March, the month that Trump was first slapped with criminal charges, his support has only gone up. It’s now 15 points higher nationally today than it was then. He’s more than 40 points ahead of his closest competitor. Short of health failure or prison time, nothing is going to bring anyone else even close to taking the lead. (And don’t come at me about “national polls don’t matter”; every state-level poll shows nearly the exact same numbers.)

To be sure, health failure or prison time (or both) are very real possibilities for quadruple-indicted, 77-year-old Trump. Remaining in the race just in case of either occurring is reason enough. But the goal, at least for now, can’t be to defeat Trump. It’s to ensure everyone knows that everything bad, from the risk of WWIII to unnecessarily high inflation to unaffordable home and car loans, is the direct consequence of reckless, unsustainable policies advocated by Joe Biden. And if that weren’t infuriating enough, Democrats have made it normal to criminalize political opposition.

Re-electing them to remain in charge sets America on an irreversible course to ruin. Which is better: cheap gas or expensive gas? Low interest or high interest? Three-dollar eggs or six-dollar eggs? War or peace?

We’re currently living with all of the bad options. Let everyone watching the debate know why that is. Doing that has nothing to do with either attacking Trump or licking his seat cushion. It’s about making Biden and his party own all of it.

Any of the non-Trump Republicans can try to “win” the debate, such that the honor is meaninglessly bestowed upon them by either The New York Times or some Fox News person. It won’t make a difference in who will be the nominee. But the event doesn’t have to be a complete waste.

It can’t be overstated how dismal the situation is on every front: crime, personal finances, foreign affairs, the collapsed Southern border, China, Russia, North Korea, our military. Not one thing is in better condition today than before Biden took office.

That’s what matters.

What doesn’t matter is whether Ramaswamy said something different today than yesterday, or if Mike Pence has any regrets, or if Ron DeSantis can define “woke.”

If there’s going to be any more debates, the Republicans who participate should put them to actual use.

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